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The Tree of Jesse; The Annunciation; The Nativity; The Annunciation to the Shepherds
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Unknown
French, Paris, about 1250 - 1260
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
7 9/16 x 5 1/4 in.
MS. LUDWIG VIII 4, FOL. 22V

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In this miniature, the Tree of Jesse, a visualization of Christ's ancestry, is joined with the Annunciation to the Virgin, the Nativity, and the Annunciation to the Shepherds. Roundels showing Old Testament prophets mark the corners of the frame. The artist painted the miniature in the deep reds and blues that dominated Parisian illumination of the 1200s, together with burnished gold leaf. The intricacy of the patterned background complements the sumptuousness of the palette but contrasts with the extreme simplicity of the drapery, which appears to fall in broad folds over the figures.